Mark Cuban rips league over trade

DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who was vocal in his opposition to the proposed trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, still doesn't think the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets ended up with a decent deal.

The right deal, in Cuban's opinion, would have been none at all, even if that meant losing Paul for nothing at the end of the season.

"You're better off just taking the cap room, or whatever," Cuban said.

Paul ended up being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, who visited the Mavericks at the American Airlines Center on Monday night.

"I don't think it was about the Lakers, per se," Cuban said before the game. "I think it was just the way they did the deal, which was ridiculous. I don't think it was about which team. I think it was the fact that, even with the Clippers, we just went through this whole (collective bargaining agreement) and said the incumbent team still has the advantage and then the team the league owns (wimps) out. And look how it's worked out for them.

"Bad management gets you bad results."

That was meant as a jab at NBA commissioner David Stern, not Hornets general manager Dell Demps.

The Clippers sent guard Eric Gordon, center Chris Kaman, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota's unprotected 2012 first-round pick to the Hornets for Paul and two future second-round picks. The Hornets are a Western Conference-worst 5-23 and are likely to lose Gordon in free agency, and the Minnesota pick isn't likely to be a high lottery pick, as some originally anticipated.

Stern vetoed a deal that would have sent Lamar Odom to the Hornets and Pau Gasol to Houston, while the Rockets would have sent Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic, and a first-round draft choice to New Orleans.

"It's not about being better or worse," Cuban said when asked to compare the offers for Paul. "It's hard to judge any trade until it's done. It's about the concepts involved and the integrity of what we went through for the CBA. That's what it's all about. (The league office) screwed the pooch either way.

"The whole idea about having most of these rules is that you'd have an advantage and wouldn't have to trade people."

Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.